Past, present and future ElectroHyperSenstivity: History, definition and proposed diagnostic criteria

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOther


Physical responses to and symptoms from long and shortwave exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF) have been reported over the last century, but this topic is still hotly debated.
Electricity distribution began in the 1890s and early short-wave research began by 1903. In the first half of the 1900s research was driven alternately by the medical community seeking benefits, and the defence forces ascertaining health risks. I will present a brief history of the effects of exposure recorded by these two parties.
As electric reticulation and microwave technology developed to the point where employees and the public were routinely exposed, symptoms experienced led to naming various syndromes. Reported health effects increased rapidly in recent years, and the wide range of these are now termed electrohypersensitivity (EHS) or idiopathic environmental intolerance. This condition currently appears to affect approximately 5% of many countries’ populations. I will outline its main reported symptoms.
After defining it, I will present a new way of considering EHS which sub-divides EHS into three categories: ElectroAutoResponse (currently falling in the ‘psychological’ response area), ElectroAware (where effects from electromagnetic radiation are noticed regardless of known emitting sources), and Electrosensitive Unaware (those affected but unaware of effect or source).
Several objective, measurable bio-markers have been reported along with a range of test procedures. These include analysis of: blood, electrocardiograms, electric skin potentials, and microcirculation. While it is still early days, I will report on these as a first step to providing doctors with clear diagnostic criteria and methods.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventWorld Congress on Public Health 2017 - Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 3 Apr 20177 Apr 2017
Conference number: 15th


ConferenceWorld Congress on Public Health 2017
Abbreviated titleWCPH 2017
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